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Editor’s Letter: Inside Our April 2023 Issue Starring Yasmine Sabri, and Celebrating the Sprit of Ramadan

Manuel Arnaut

Vogue Arabia editor-in-chief Manuel Arnaut. Photo: Ziga Mihelcic

Nothing beats Ramadan, that wonderful time of the year when the stars seem to shine brighter, and we are captivated by a spirit of sharing and reunion. This is a season where fashion is also very present, with regional brands showcasing their most glamorous kaftans and abayas, and international brands creating special products just for our market. A great example is the one of Moroccan designer Sara Chraibi, who made her Paris Couture Week debut in January, and is featured in this issue on page 114. Naturally, at Vogue Arabia we could not be more pleased about this month and all it signifies, and therefore it was an absolute pleasure to put together this issue, packed with fantastic style, but also full of stories of beautiful humanity.

Although we are also featuring an array of big blockbuster names, from artist Joana Vasconcelos to Syrian humanitarian Arwa Damon, the stories that I love the most this edition are of less mainstream heroes, but with a huge impact on their communities. In New York, we met with Shadin Hamdan, the founder of the Palestinian bakery Kanafa Cups. More than just producing delicious sweets, Hamdan is sharing with the world the traditions and the DNA of her home country, while surrounding herself with a strong community of women. Another feature that I love this April is dedicated to how different families enjoy their Ramadan, highlighting the richness of these festivities, even for people from communities that are not based in the Arab world. In this piece we spoke to model Sabrina Elba and mother Maryam Egal, Saudi sisters Mayada and Alanoud Badr, and to Egyptian sports champion couple Nouran Gohar and Ziad Elsissy. I congratulate Gohar for being number one in the world of squash since 2020.

While Ramadan has a very strong social aspect to it, this is also a moment to stay at home with the family, creating the perfect opportunity for the Arab entertainment industry. Our screens have been nostalgically bejeweled via shimmering shows by Sherihan or Nelly, or more recently with impactful dramas starring Mona Zaki or Nadine Njeim. It is in this tradition that we invited Egyptian actor Yasmine Sabri to star on our covers for the second time. This Eid, Sabri will star in the blockbuster comedy Abu Al-Nasab, returning to screens after a three-year hiatus. In her interview, Sabri revealed her relationship with fame, and how her family shaped and supported her to become the star she is today. I have to say that I’m always blown away by Sabri’s magnetism. We have attended different regional and international events together, and once the actor steps on the red carpet, heads turn. This is why calling her a force of nature, as we did on our triptych of covers, is not an exaggeration. From all the team at Vogue, we wish you a blessed Ramadan.

Originally published in the April 2023 issue of Vogue Arabia

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